Thursday, March 31, 2011

Embracing the Promises

I listen to Christian radio a lot. That is when "Go Fish" or "30 Bible Songs and Stories" are allowed to take a much needed rest. When we drove to Florida a few weeks ago I pulled the middle of the night straw. It only lasted for about two hours - although it felt longer - I was at a loss. I know a K-Love station has to exist  somewhere between Kentucky and Alabama, but I couldn't find it.  So I settled for some other random sleepy song station that kept the kids asleep.

Somewhere along the way Anne Graham Lotz came on. She told a story of a woman who would go to the church prayer meeting each week and bring her husband's shoes. Every week she would pray for him until "he would be there to fill his shoes." Her point was what are we doing to live in faith? How are we living faith filled lives?

As you all know, faith is not my strong point. Trying to be faith filled overwhelms me from time to time. I stop looking at the face of Jesus and start focusing on the size of the waves I am walking in. Rarely do I take the time to realize that no matter how hard things seem in the moment, my life is really pretty simple and easy.

Right now, life seems anything but easy. I hate - with all my heart - seeing my kids grieve. I know that grief has its place in life. Grief can bring hope. It is a breeding ground for empathy. Grief can bring healing. It shatters walls and opens the doors of the heart if we will let others in. 

I also hate what the evil one tries to accomplish while we grieve. The temporary victory is smeared in the face of the innocent and the seasoned grievers alike.  It takes so much faith to say "death where is thy victory." It seems terribly clear right now where the victory is. But it is not a victory for the evil one. It is however a battle hard fought and won. It is a race finished and a crown waiting.

Today Hope sat on the couch and cried. She cried for the Grandma she barely remembers and the Uncle that she dearly loved. Tears poured down her cheeks as she sobbed "I can't find them." I am so grateful for a God who hears. A God who cares enough to whisper to my heart so I can whisper to my child "We don't need to find them. We know where they are. They are with Jesus." The victory is ours. It cannot be taken away.

My reading today took me through the story of Abraham. Hebrew 11 records "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son...."

He who had embraced the promise of a great nation was willing to cling to the Author of the promise rather the physical, living breathing, little boy tagging along with his daddy, tangible conduit of the promise. I want my faith to be that of Abraham. I want to remember that the Author of the promises is always worth embracing. When I hold tight to him, I never need to cling to anything else.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nap Time

On The
Beach Makes
For Some
Mighty Sweet Dreams.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The P.S. Part of Our Vacation

Our family trip to Florida was capped off by a little extra vacation with family in Alabama. Let me just say Southern Hospitality is not a myth. :) The time we spent there was the perfect spot to rest after our vacation! The kids were spoiled rotten (Thanks so much for loving on them!) and Doug and I had a wonderful time catching up and enjoying watching our kids make new family memories.

It didn't take Hope long to find this plant stand and decide it was her personal drum. We were intermittently serenaded throughout the day with songs like "Jesus Loves Me" and "The Farmer in the Dell". As long as she had "M's" attention she kept singing.

They even had a bike that Ty and Becca were going to take turns riding. Until Tyler realized that "K" was willing to throw the football. Be seen and possibly photographed riding a pink bike...throw the football. What's an almost nine year old boy to do?

The football play continued later as Daddy laid out the "play" on his hand and they tried their best to learn the art of running routes.

Meanwhile Hope was enamored with the newly filled bird bath. She "helped" by putting all the rocks in and then washing them repeatedly.

Later Doug was throwing the football while Ty tried to crab walk and catch the ball, Becca and Hope got "K" involved in a game of "house".

This naturally led to a fire in the chiminea which had to be followed with marshmallows.

Breeley was ready to be tucked in, but she held out for a little while around the fire.

I have never seen Ty, Becca and Hope fall asleep so fast. Thanks, K & M for such a wonderful day.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Growing Up

Every now and then I get a new look into ways my kids are growing up. The other night we stopped at a roadside park that normally has some cool stumps in the ocean, or great driftwood to sit the kids on to take pictures.

Some posed obligingly, others not so much. I'll let them remain anonymous.
I knew the kids hadn't brought their camera's and I have yet to pass kindergarten when it comes to sharing my "nice" camera. They are getting good with it, but walking on a beach in the sand. Um, NOPE!
So I pulled out my nice, but no removable parts camera and let them snap away.
It's a fantastic place to watch the sun go down. While I captured pictures - and posed for a few - the sun sank into the ocean. A sight our little family never can watch too many times.
When I downloaded the pictures, this is what I saw.

Their perspective. Their ideas. Their composition. A small glimpse through my children's eyes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Small Story

It all began when good little children are going to bed. But instead of being tucked into bed, we tucked our children into car seats. And drove. All. Night. Long.
Doug after driving most of  the night.

In the morning, the sun came up and the children were surprisingly happy. (The 5 adults counted their blessings.)

Even the baby was happy. Can you guess how many hours of prayer went into this trip?
The two big kids were happy to be out of the van and riding with Grammy and Papaw, so unfortunately there are no travel pictures of them.

We soon arrived at our familiar destination and found a wonderful surprise. The kids were elated to find this.


And so were the parents. The kids ran off some  a lot of energy. 

Breeley sat in sand for the first time. 
She eventually warmed up to the idea and gave me a grin. And then went to work.
And then tasted it.
After a quick clean up she went to join Grammy and Papaw and "the boys" as they are known on the swing.
Then we headed down to the beach for a quick run. This beach was a little muddy and not so much sandy so we headed out rather quickly.

We heard from the locals that a refurbished ship was in town and headed off for a tour. Ate lunch at a local (wonderful) Mexican restaurant, got some groceries and headed toward our rental home. That night some sleepy eyed kids watched a movie. The grownups unpacked and cleaned up dinner.

The day ended with  a beautiful sunset. And soft beds.
The days since have been filled with sun and sand. Wind and waves. Beautiful sunrises (not that I've seen them) and beautiful sunsets. Moonlight shining on the waves. Sandcastles and shell collecting. 

Today I'm sitting on the couch. Watching the waves crash, the porch swing sway in the breeze and the clouds play peek-a-boo with the sun. I'm so grateful to be in this beautiful place with some of the ones I love best.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday- Home Life

Love those deep brown eyes!
What happens when naps don't happen.
Sleepy mornings.
She's not camera shy!
Where did my baby go?
First spaghetti face!
Look, Grammy! I'm wearing the dress you made me.
My 7 year old. Thanking God for these precious years.
Nine months already. I love the "Pebbles" look.